Become A
Volunteer

Make a Difference at Literacy Pittsburgh

Volunteers are the core of our program. They bring optimism and enthusiasm, create positive energy, and provide the opportunity for our students to make profound changes in their lives.   

We always welcome new volunteers to support our organization. Becoming a Literacy Pittsburgh volunteer allows you to meet inspiring people with diverse experiences and grounds you with a sense of purpose. Our volunteer program provides you with an opportunity for personal and professional growth, and allows you to see the impact of your actions.

Last year, more than 700 volunteers gave 74,000 hours to help our students succeed.

Tutoring is the most popular activity for volunteers. Volunteer tutors who teach Literacy Pittsburgh students receive nine hours of training in teaching methods. After completing their training, tutors are matched with a student or group of students. Tutors are asked to hold two sessions totaling four hours a week and to make at least a six-month commitment. Students and tutors meet in public locations on days and times that are mutually convenient. No previous teaching experience is required; however, new volunteer tutors must possess or be working toward earning a four-year college degree.* You are not required to speak a foreign language to be a tutor of a foreign-born student.

As a tutor, you will receive a great deal of support from our experienced staff. You will receive materials as well as training and guidance in teaching techniques, lesson plan preparation, and ways to handle any challenges you may encounter.

We also welcome classroom aides and volunteer instructors at various sites in Beaver and Allegheny Counties. If teaching is not for you, please consider other ways to help. Aides and non-teaching volunteers do not require a college degree. You can work one-to-one with a student to complete online job applications, practice interview skills, apply for college or discuss American workplace expectations and culture. You can also organize a group of friends or co-workers to help English as a Second Language students practice their listening and speaking skills. Or, share your passion for literacy with friends and family as a fundraising volunteer. Recruit your company as a sponsor, organize an event to benefit Literacy Pittsburgh, start a crowdfunding page, or serve on a committee.

With the critical support of our dedicated volunteers, Literacy Pittsburgh can truly make a difference and build better lives through learning.

This requirement is mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education effective July 1, 2011. A copy of the degree or transcript will be required before a tutor can be matched with a student(s). 

Other Opportunities
Volunteer Spotlight: Keerstan
“What has been most meaningful to me as a tutor is how exhilarating and fulfilling it is when you see a student learn. When they want to learn about a topic that directly affects their life and finally they have that lightbulb moment of understanding. It’s an incredible thing to witness. It’s such a happy feeling for you and for them. You know that you helped them and that they are making progress. It’s just fantastic!”
Photo of Volunteer Spotlight: Keerstan